Angeline Candido (B.A., 2009) began her college career majoring in English, but fell in love with Communication which she added to her work load later on. With plans to go to graduate school, she got the opportunity to TA for lecturer Lisa Coutu and did an honors thesis with Dr. Gerry Philipsen about the ‘Seattle freeze’. Although her path has looked different than she thought, Candido has no regrets about where her Communication degree has led her.
What have you been up to since graduation?
“After graduation, I moved back in with my parents, which I think everyone did back in ’09. I started interning at a startup called Wetpaint – a TV and entertainment website that has been bought by Viggle Inc. since then. I started off as their Gossip Girl Intern, which I think is the best title you could ever have. Eventually I got hired on, and was there to help build up their website – write bios, cover news, post photos, and produce videos. And then the second half of my career there I was an editor. I was given a ‘beat’ of about 5 or 6 television shows that I had to monitor every week with a team of interns, freelance writers, and other editors.
“The thing about working for a startup is that it often requires really long hours and I eventually got a little burnt out, and it wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to do in the end. So I quit my job not really knowing what I was going to do and I emailed Victoria Sprang (Alumni Relations Manager for the UW Department of Communication). As a Comm and English major, I felt like I could do everything and nothing with my degrees. There were so many directions I could go in. Victoria connected me with some other Comm graduates and I met with someone in PR, marketing, administration, etc. I learned that people are so nice and will open their offices to you and are willing to give you advice over lunch.
“After that, I knew I wanted to go in a more PR or Communication direction so I decided to seek an internship or entry level position. On Husky Jobs, I found that a company called Compendium was hiring a PR & Marketing Intern. I went through all the interviews and got it. It was a fantastic experience, working 40 hours a week, doing things like maintaining the Facebook page, getting Pinterest off the ground, and working with bloggers. I worked my way through the ranks and got hired on as a Marketing Coordinator.”
What is Compendium and what do your duties include?
“Compendium is a gift company – we make journals, books, greeting cards – located in Wallingford. We have about 100 sales reps across the country and they sell to about 5,000 retailers that carry our products. Our tagline is ‘Live Inspired’, so we make really inspirational products and I get do so many different things.
“I work on the catalog that comes out twice a year, which is fun because my journalism side gets to come out with interviewing retailers and helping with the layout. We do trade shows throughout the year and I’m at the ground level organizing those. I do a lot of social media work and develop relationships with bloggers and trade magazine editors. We are also working on some branding changes.
“Along with it being a variety of responsibilities, it’s been very collaborative. The marketing department is split by nature from the design, sales, and creative teams – and all of us are working together to create the catalog, website, marketing collateral, show materials, and displays at the retail level. It’s really fun to get to interact with people who have different backgrounds in different departments. We all come in with a different agenda, so we really have to balance everyone’s interests and find what works for all of us. In consequence, half of my day is usually spent in meetings because we are so interdisciplinary, but it’s always something different.”
Do you have any tips on finding a job for those still in school?
“Work experience is important, now more than ever. I wish I had thought about that more when I was in school – not only balancing your classes, but learning how to be a professional. I found that although people are generally really nice, the easiest time to talk to people is when you are still a student. So that really is the time to make connections and talk with people. I also found the Career Center to be really helpful, so definitely work on getting those internships and work experience.”
What do you think is the single most important thing to do while in school to prepare for the real world?
“I think you just have to be willing to get your hands dirty and be willing to start by doing whatever it takes. Don’t be afraid to dive head first into things. Almost every job I’ve had, it felt like a startup in the sense that there was room to pursue what I wanted and no one was micromanaging me. You have to develop the ability to self-start and be okay with ambiguity. Take whatever comes your way, even if it’s getting coffee to build relationships, and have openness to what is to come.”
Now that you’ve had some time to reflect on your time at the UW, what advice had you wished you received while in school?
“I was so caught up in school itself – finals, papers, presentations – that I wish I had the realization that life goes on after school, and that you have to prepare for that as well. Luckily I got an internship during my last quarter because I think it really helped to gain that experience. Something that I’ve heard other people say is to be okay with getting a slightly lower grade in order to fit in extracurriculars.”
Where do you hope to be in five years?
“I love PR and marketing – and that social, team-building aspect. I would like to continue that. I’m very drawn to online communication, so staying in social media, developing relationships with bloggers and doing website work.
“But it’s hard to say where I’ll be in five years because five years ago I didn’t think I would be here and I’m kind of embracing that. I always used to think that I had to have my whole life figured out by the time I graduated, but I think you do the best you can and then are pleasantly surprised with how things turn out!”
Anything to add?
“I feel that my degree in Communication is really valuable to the work I do now. And I really value the education I got at the UW, especially now as I work with people with different backgrounds. I felt that I had great professors and TAs to support me in a great Department. What can I say, I love Communication and I love the Department!
“I would certainly be happy to connect with other COMM-ers who are interested in pursuing this career direction.”